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A Needed Mets Win: Díaz Rewarded

Brandon Nimmo - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

FLUSHING, NY —  The schedule and rule changes are different, awkward, and a pitch clock that moves ball games at a rapid pace. Friday evening at Citi Field The Mets and Rockies moved at that rapid pace.

Time of the game: 2:10. Music to the ears for players and of course all of us in the press box. Brandon Nimmo put the Mets on the board with a home run to lead off the fourth inning.

That was it folks, 1-0 Mets. A win they needed after a brief three-game series sweep to the Tigers in Detroit. Kodai Senga was the first Mets rookie pitcher to throw 6.0 or more scoreless innings and allow two or fewer hits since Tylor Megill on July 23, 2021 against the Blue Jays.

The schedule says two more with the Rockies at Citi Field, then the Mets head to the road again for seven games at Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. But this was a win the Mets needed even if one run was the difference.

Senga was good, Nimmo, with his sixth career home run against the Rockies, he rebounded with a 2-for-3 night. Nimmo needed that home run and avenged a baserunning mistake in the series finale at Detroit getting nailed on a steal attempt that stopped a 9th inning Mets rally.

Nimmo, though, the popular and charismatic teammate has never dwelled over a bad moment, this one Thursday afternoon that hurt his team. He also dived in the fifth inning and caught a liner in center field, Ezequiel Tovar was robbed and Senga gave his approval on the mound.

That catch saved Senga, and the Mets bullpen with Drew Smith, David Robertson, and Adam Ottavino closed the door.

The Mets needed this win. The early May panic of a losing streak and a Tigers sweep on the road was now in the past. A Mets team not playing to expectations hope to build off this win.

“You’ve got to be like a goldfish in this game and have a short-term memory,” Nimmo said. “It reduces the tension off a losing streak.”

Ottavino in the ninth worked out of trouble. The Rockies had a runner on third with one out and pinch hitter Mike Moustakas struck out. Charlie Blackmon drove a liner to right and Ottavino recorded his fourth save.

A win the Mets needed and they played to expectations, something GM Billy Eppler addressed prior to the game.

”We wanted to win really bad today,” Ottavino said. “Kodai did a great job. We didn’t want it to be for nothing.”

Adam Ottavino – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

DÍAZ GETS AWARD WITH PROGRESS: A pleasant moment prior to the game and the Mets stood by their dugout to congratulate their closer Edwin Díaz who received his 2022 NL Reliever of the Year hardware.

Their injured closer, also the 2022 Latino Sports NL Relief Pitcher MVP, is recovering from a torn tendon in his right knee and making progress. He did not rule out pitching later this season, though we will leave that to the medical experts.

“He is doing really good in his recovery,” said manager Buck Showalter. “What a great recognition, you think about all the great relievers in baseball. We got to watch that last year. It’s a reminder what we’re missing. We’ll get him back at some point. It will be revealed to us at some point. In the meantime the season goes on.”

Encouraging to see Díaz walk on the field without crutches. He was in uniform, on the bench, and watched his mates in the bullpen close the win.

“So encouraging to see him with us and making that recovery,” said Francisco Lindor who greeted Díaz and his family during the brief award presentation.

Edwin Díaz: Recipient of 2018 Latino MVP American League Relief/Closer Award and recipient of 2022 National League Reliever/Closer Award Image Credit: Latino Sports

Rich Mancuso Co-Editor and Senior Writer Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio Pabón

    May 7, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Great article with videos and pictures. Mets really needed the win

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